Micronutrient malnutrition is a major public health problem in Kazakhstan, with devastating, often lifelong consequences for the health, mental development, and productivity of its people, as well as the nation’s economic progress. Poor maternal and infant nutrition affects the well-being of communities and the economic performance of entire nations across generations.
In January 2009, with the objective of improving population nutritional status, the Government of Kazakhstan passed guidelines on fortification procedures and specified that certain food products, including premium and first-grade wheat flour as well as baking yeast, bread, baked goods and pastries, could be fortified.
This Cost Benefit Analysis study looked at the cost-effectiveness of a single intervention, wheat flour fortification, in addressing micronutrient malnutrition. Analysis revealed that over a ten-year period, a successful fortification programme would reduce these losses by USD 1,753.97 million.
The findings demonstrate recent progress made in wheat flour fortification, while highlighting the need for improvements in monitoring and enforcement to increase availability of adequately fortified flour.